From A Candle is Lighted, P. Stewart Craig
MARTINMAS: NOVEMBER 11TH
St. Martin’s day once used to rival St. John’s day, so much was it given to rejoicings and festivities. So often did Martinmas bring with it a brief return of warm weather that the days around the feast are still called to this day “St. Martin’s summer.”
All types of people claimed Martin as their patron—”monks, priests, soldiers, knights, travelers, inn-keepers, charitable organizations of every kind.” Why these last claimed Martin as patron the office of his feast makes clear: “At the age of 15 he became a soldier and served in the army, first of Constantius, afterwards of Julian. On one occasion when a poor naked man at Amiens begged an alms of him in the name of Christ, having nothing but his armor and clothing, he gave him half his military cloak. The following night Christ appeared to him clad in that half cloak, and said; `Martin, while yet a catechumen, has clothed me with this garment.'”
How better could one honor St. Martin’s day than by living it in that spirit of his? Martin gave away half his cloak: we can go through our wardrobe and select any clothes that are at all superfluous—if we would really resemble Martin we should give more than what can be spared—and we can immediately send or give it to someone in need, either directly, or indirectly through some organization.
It is important to remember, though, that Martin gave the cloak he was actually wearing, that is to say, something that was fit to be worn. The idea is not to give away merely old clothes, but garments in such condition that we ourselves would be willing to wear them.
After all, when Martin saw his cloak, not on the beggar but on Christ himself, it was reality that he saw. Any clothes, any single thing that we give to another person we are giving to Christ himself.
OUR LADY’S PRESENTATION: NOVEMBER 21ST
This feast was kept for hundreds of years in the east before the west took it over; and in England it was observed long before the rest of Europe.
“The lovely Virgin being born according to the divine decrees, her parents led her to the temple, to fulfill their promise to give her to her Creator. Anna in her joy thus cried out to the priest: `Receive this child, lead her into the most secluded parts of the temple; surround her with all care: for she was given me as the fruit of my prayers, and in the joy of my faith I promised to devote her to God her Creator.'”
It is easy to see how this day, which describes Mary as entering upon a new life, to which she would bring ever greater exactness to her service of God, came to be thought a fitting occasion for priests and religious to renew their vows.
One may still commemorate the traditional life of Mary in the temple by making this day an occasion in youth groups or schools when everyone belonging to any Catholic organization renews their membership and the promises they have made on being accepted. This renewal might well be made in the church, and after the ceremony some sort of general party or festivity could be arranged.
As recently as 1934 the General of the Salvatorians suggested to Pope Pius XI that one Saturday each month might become a day specially devoted to prayers for priests. Pius XI agreed wholeheartedly, declaring that he praised and blessed the suggestion, and since 1934, bishops of more than fifty European dioceses have recommended this practice.
How does one take part in Priests’ Saturday? It means offering the Saturday after the First Friday of the month wholly and entirely for the sanctification of priests throughout the world; offering Mass and Holy Communion together with all the prayers, actions, joys, sorrows of the day and offering it all to Christ through the hands of Mary.
Many people probably pray for priests on the Ember days, which are the ordination days. But then it is naturally for the newly ordained. Priests’ Saturday is intended to help all priests—the Pope, the bishops, missionaries, all who teach in seminaries and schools, the contemplative religious, the parish priests.
For some people a week-day Mass will be impossible. Still they can make an offering of their whole day, and they could say this prayer at least once on Priests’ Saturday:
“Divine Savior, Jesus Christ, who have entrusted your work of redemption to the priests, who take your place on earth, I offer you, through the hands of your most holy Mother, for the sanctification of your priests and future priests this whole day, all my prayers, works, joys, sacrifices and sufferings. Give us saintly priests. Grant to them apostolic hearts, filled with love for you and all the souls belonging to you, so that, being themselves sanctified in you, they may sanctify us who are entrusted to their care and bring us safely into Heaven.
Loving Jesus, bless all their priestly work and sacrifice. Bless all their prayers and words at the altar and in the confessional, in the pulpit, in the school and at the sickbed. Call many young men to the priesthood and the monastic life. Protect and sanctify all who will become your priests. And grant to the souls of the priests who have departed this life, eternal rest.
And do you, Mary, Mother of all priests, take them under your special protection and lead them ever to the highest priestly sanctity.”
“Mothers, as far as possible, be at home with your children. As you nourished your child before he was capable of eating solid food, so in the early formative years, nature has determined that you must nourish your child in virtue.” -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook http://amzn.to/2lCqRG5
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When my children were young I loved to read to them stories, poems and nursery rhymes! They knew those rhymes inside and out and it was such a happy pastime! I did yearn, at times, for little ditties that had more meaning…….So I decided to write a book myself for the generation after me….especially thinking of my grandchildren, but for all Catholic children everywhere!
Our own children grew up learning and repeating Nursery Rhymes. It was very enjoyable and it was an easy way to teach the children the use of rhythm and rhyme. How much more meaningful those little poems would have been if there had been more depth in the considerations behind each little verse!
That is where this book comes in. It gives us some lovely rhymes that can, and should, be committed to heart by your children. Not only will it provide all the benefits of reading and memorizing, but it will supply some simple reflections that will turn those little minds to what is most important in their life….their Catholic Faith.
Research shows children learn more in their first eight years than they do in the rest of their lives. This is a powerful time to teach them.
Most important, it is a crucial time for us, as those devout Catholic parents of old, to teach our children their Faith as they sit at our feet and learn from us.
So, parents, here is a teaching tool that can help! These are meaningful little rhymes that will provide an enjoyable way to teach your children and will enrich your home with Catholic culture!
Encourage your children to learn the poems in this book. Let them peruse the pages and look at the pictures. You will find that it will be a meaningful experience for all!
Women historically have been denigrated as lower than men or viewed as privileged. Dr. Alice von Hildebrand characterizes the difference between such views as based on whether man’s vision is secularistic or steeped in the supernatural. She shows that feminism’s attempts to gain equality with men by imitation of men is unnatural, foolish, destructive, and self-defeating. The Blessed Mother’s role in the Incarnation points to the true privilege of being a woman. Both virginity and maternity meet in Mary who exhibits the feminine gifts of purity, receptivity to God’s word, and life-giving nurturance at their highest.
You’ll learn how to grow in wisdom and in love as you encounter the unglamorous, everyday problems that threaten all marriages. As the author says: If someone were to give me many short bits of wool, most likely I would throw them away. A carpet weaver thinks differently. He knows the marvels we can achieve by using small things artfully and lovingly. Like the carpet weaver, the good wife must be an artist of love. She must remember her mission and never waste the little deeds that fill her day the precious bits of wool she s been given to weave the majestic tapestry of married love.
This remarkable book will show you how to start weaving love into the tapestry of your marriage today, as it leads you more deeply into the joys of love.
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Our Lady’s presentation this Sunday! 🙂 Beautiful feast day! <3
Great reminders for the feasts and priests, thank you. 🙂